CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM|
The Bucks for Books campaign will run during the month of May. From left, Jeff Finney, who is in charge of the Star-Bulletin's Newspaper in Education program, project co-chairwoman Lynn Watanabe, Star-Bulletin Publisher Frank Teskey, Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto and project co-chairwoman Barbara Kuljis.
Bucks for Books
targets isle schools
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin and schools on Oahu are launching Bucks for Books, a campaign to buy textbooks for students, which will run for the month of May.
Educators, public officials, parents and students for years have pointed to a lack of books -- or outdated books -- as key problems in many Hawaii schools. Through Bucks for Books, the Star-Bulletin hopes to give as much as $500,000 to schools for textbooks and other essentials.
"We are very pleased to bring the Star-Bulletin Bucks for Books Campaign to the community at a time when the need for books in many of our schools is front and center," said Frank Teskey, publisher of the Star-Bulletin. "Everyone participating in Bucks for Books is investing in the future of our students and we believe placing more new books in our schools will pay big dividends."
The impetus for the project came at last month's education summit. At the statewide conference of educators, parents and community leaders, Schools Superintendent Pat Hamamoto called for communities to form partnerships to help schools.
"Bucks for Books is a win-win opportunity for all Oahu public schools," Hamamoto said. "Our schools gain added resources for instructional materials and, with bargain subscriptions to the Star-Bulletin, our families gain valuable reading materials that also build literacy."
In addition to the public schools, the campaign will be offered at Oahu's private schools.
Students will sell one-year, seven-day subscriptions to the Star-Bulletin to new subscribers. The cost will be $40, rather than the regular rate of $135. Subscribers will be able to designate which school receives proceeds to buy textbooks. Captains at each school will help coordinate the program, working with principals and teachers.
U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, who initiated Hawaii 3Rs -- Repair Remodel Restore -- for upgrading Hawaii's schools, offered his support. "I am pleased that the Star-Bulletin has taken this initiative because we all need to get involved if we are going to increase student achievement in Hawaii. These are the type of innovative programs we need."
"I want to commend the Star-Bulletin for stepping forward to help Hawaii's children by raising funds to supply textbooks," Gov. Linda Lingle said.
Lynn Watanabe and Barbara Kuljis have taken leading roles in the project as co-chairwomen.
"The best place to help kids is in the schools," Watanabe said, "and to bring the community into the schools makes a big difference." She looks at Bucks for Books as "an opportunity for the community to work together with schools and feel comfortable donating to schools and target specific needs."
Kuljis thought it was "terrific that the Bulletin stepped up to the plate and answered Pat's (Hamamoto) call to assist the public schools. I just think it's such a positive community project."
This campaign will be available only to new subscribers on Oahu. Current subscribers are encouraged to buy subscriptions for classrooms in their designated schools or to make a donation for textbooks.